Co-ops and the environment

According to members, the environment matters to co-operatives and they are doing something to put concern into action, which is great news.  However, there is much more to be done.

At cooperatives congress we decided to take the opportunity to do a simple survey to find out how co-operative members thought their own enterprise was doing with regards to environmental issues. Further input was sought via a similar online questionnaire and a total of 31 responses analysed. Although this was not a rigorous assessment it has provided an interesting snapshot of views.

Vegi sandwich packs a carbon punch

We can't swear it's a fully vegetarian cheese but Best Foot Forward's point is that carbon isn't just about meat. Obvious to many but this mini study goes someway to highlight the variable nature and impact of different food stuffs in a very simple way.  It of course only talks about carbon.  What about pesticides, water use, the workers?

Grabbing a cappuccino? Make it an ethical one

A recent Ethical Consumer report currently highlights Costa and AMT as the best of the bunch booting Starbucks into touch with 6/20. The leaders, with scores of 14 and 11.5 out of 20 respectively are far from perfect, with animal rights violations featuring for most if not all suppliers. Starbucks get a black mark against the majority of criteria checked by the Manchester-based ethical specialist but a tick for its fair trade coffee sourcing. 

Passivhaus firsts

Passivhaus, a stringent energy efficiency standard for buildings, originating in Germany, is being implemented across the UK in ever growing numbers, and for good reason. With heating and electricity bills rising for all of us, an approach that leads to energy bills reduced by 80-90% is bound to be gaining in popularity.

Here we feature two recent schemes and the architect's practice, a Sustainable Change Co-operative associate, that led on the design.

Behaviour change critical for greener homes - new report

A recent event at Cube saw the launch of The Missing Quarter: Behaviour Change in Low Carbon Housing, a report from the Greater Manchester Low Carbon Housing Retrofit Programme. With up to 50% of energy savings coming about by how people use their homes, greening buildings with insulation and techno fixes alone just won't cut it.